War of the Rebellion: Serial 038 Page 0018 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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through Tensas Bayou, Washita and Black Rivers, is a wide and navigable way; the distance to be cut to enter it from the Mississippi not great. With this open, a vast foraging district would be opened, and our gunboats of light draught would be enabled to cut off the enemy's commerce with the WEST bank of the river.

I have determined to make the experiment, at all events, and for this purpose will want a brigade detailed and embarked as soon as possible. They will be accompanied by one of the gunboats. All the tools required can be gotten by calling on Captain [Benjamin F.] Reno, assistant quartermaster, on the steamer Adelia.

U. S. GRANT.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE Mississippi,

Before Vicksburg, January 30, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: Your dispatch of this date is received. I have accordingly ordered a brigade to be detailed to cut the proposed canal between Lake Providence and Bayou Tensas. If this project should fail of success, it might be well to inquire into the practicability of connecting the Mississippi River at Lake Village (nearly opposite Greenville) with the Washita and Red Rivers.

Your obedient servant,

JOHN A. McClernand.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE Mississippi,

Before Vicksburg, MISS., January 30, 1863.

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee:

Your order directing me to move the camp of the FIFTY-fourth Indiana Volunteers outside the limits of the camp hospital, and to furnish guards for such hospital, is received.

The officer who brought you a complaint upon this subject should not have troubled you, but should have come to me, having come to you, I think ought regularly to have been referred to me. I denounce his complaint as an of insubordination. Please advise me who made the complaint. If I am to be held responsible for the safety of this camp, I must be permitted to dispose of the forces within it as I may think proper. The internal organization of the camp and the disposition of its forces are matters that properly belong to me, as their immediate commander.

The FIFTY-fourth Indiana was assigned to the position coveted by the medical director or the hospital surgeon, for strategic reasons, before the camp hospital was located. Those reasons are in part explained by the correspondence, a copy of which is herewith inclosed. * Nevertheless, upon the application of the medical director, or, rather, upon my own suggestion, the huts occupied by the FIFTY-fourth were vacated by them and assigned for hospital uses, and the regiment ordered to encamp as far away as was consistent with strategic considerations. This they did. Still, complaint came. The surgeon objected to the neighborship of the regiment, the colonel complained of the insolence of the surgeon,

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*Not found.

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